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In a recent case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a person operating a “Segway” electric personal assistive mobility device is not a driver of a motor vehicle and is not, therefore, subject to the prohibitions of the Minnesota Impaired Driving Code.  In State v. Greenman, Mr. Greenman attempted to travel a short distance to his home in Medina using his Segway. After traveling along the walking path, Greenman entered the road, and twice drifted across the center line of the road before being stopped by a Medina police officer. The first time Greenman drifted over the line, a vehicle purportedly had to slow down to avoid striking the Segway.  Mr. Greenman was arrested and charged with a 3rd degree D.U.I. after he tested above the legal limit.  Greenman moved to dismiss the first two charges, asserting that a Segway is not a motor vehicle for purposes of criminal prosecution under the impaired-driving code.  The district court granted Greenman’s motion to dismiss.

            The court held that a mobility scooter is not a motor vehicle for purposes of a DWI prosecution.  It noted that the definition of “motor vehicle” in that chapter specifically excluded “an electric personal assistive mobility device.”  The court ultimately determined that Greenman’s Segway did “not meet the definition of ‘vehicle,’ because it is generally not a ‘device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported . . . upon a highway.’”  Because Greenway’s Segway was not a “vehicle,” the court concluded that it was not a “motor vehicle,” as that term is used in the DWI laws.

            Instances like this illustrate that whenever you are charged with a DWI, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

2 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Karl Sagal

    He was not driving drunk. He was intoxicated in public. The mobility device is the same as walking, for those who cannot.

    Therefore, he should suffer the same charges as a drunk who staggered out into the street, causing danger to himself and motorists.

  2. True that was a different way to look at it. But for many purposes (additional penalties that come with DUI) that wasn't the focus of the key charges. Thank you for the comment.

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